go on, live a little – I dare you…

Because doing good feels good too.

Hedonists have been considered historically as being self-absorbed egotists who seek pleasure regardless of the pain it might cause others.  But this is not the sort of attitude that wins friends and influences people.  And life is much more fun with friends. So, I propose a different kind of lifestyle choice, design your life around the concept of being a Responsible Hedonist.  Where feeling good is a top priority, not just for your own pleasure, but also for the pleasure, happiness and contentment in the lives of people around you.

It sounds a bit like a fairy tale doesn’t it?  

Well, it doesn’t have to be. Hedonism is really about living the life that you want, forgetting about social constructs and expectations and seeking the joy that life has to offer by actively pursuing happiness. 

Let go of your hang-ups.

Ignore the calls from your social conditioning….that urge to buy a house, to work in an office, to conform.  Listen to your heart which screams what you want.  You are responsible when it comes to pursing happiness.  And the happiness of the people around you is just as important as your own pleasure.

Here are tips on what responsible hedonism might look like in various areas of your life:

Be a good lover, start by loving yourself.

The concept of filling your own cup first doesn’t have to be a selfish act.  If you fulfil your own needs, your own desires then all the good is sure to overflow into the things you do and the people you are in relationship with. It’s not about getting what you want right now, it’s about getting what you want forever. Avoid short term pleasures that will lead to pain and always think of the long term goal of a hedonist lifestyle, you want a sustainable happiness for yourself and the world around you.

Explore the great beyond… heart first.

Focus your attention on doing good in the places that you visit.  I always try to give something back to the communities that have been so welcoming to me. There aer lots of ways you can give back – consider visiting local orphanages, donating time to help with a harvest, recycling your unwanted belongings to impoverished societies who can use them (clothes, toys, books are always gratefully received).  Take the time to listen, to experience and to appreciate every little thing that the communities have to offer – and you know what? You get SO SO much more than you give… Some of my most memorable experiences have been back bent, sweat dripping down my face in a rice field – or holding a damp sweaty baby in a dingy orphanage only to have that same baby look up at me, grinning from ear to ear from the sheer joy of being held.

Work is not a dirty word.

Think about what makes you feel amazing. What is it that gets your rocks off? What floats your boat? How can you take what you want and behave responsibly sharing that happiness and pleasure with the people around you? Take the time to really think not only about what you can get but consider what you can give.

Life, love and your future.

Think of it this way, when someone asks you to do something or you think you have a responsibility to behave a certain way. Ask yourself if you want to, if the answer is yes! Great! Do it. If the answer is anything but yes, maybe, or I guess I should, I don’t want to but I will anyway… any of those answers are a No. So don’t do it. Give yourself a break. If you think hard work means you have to suffer… let go a little bit. What is success if you’re not happy? What is experience without someone to share it with?

Let out your own reigns, trust the good within you and behave responsibly but at the end of the day, get out there and do what you want with your life, because it’s yours and no one else’s. The only way to really live is to allow yourself to come alive by doing what you love…

It’s not easy, society has trained us all to be miserable… we are taught that hard work means suffering, we are taught we should feel held-back by our relationships, we are taught to complain first and rejoice later… we are not taught to rest. I struggle with this every day – fighting myself to remain against the grain. And I will continue to struggle because this little person I am about to begin to raise is going to change my world all over again, I will be responsible and I will be a good parent – but I will also teach my child freedom, happiness and joy – and you cannot teach unless you can experience.

So try it today – and even if you only get an hour of freedom before those voices in your head creep back in and tell you off for enjoying your life – that hour is going to be so worthwhile!

Have fun. Laugh with your co-workers. Love easily. Forgive past mistakes. Give more than you take. Stop work and go home! Kiss your wife! Play with your kids… it’s the little things today that turn into the big things in the future – don’t miss out on finding your bliss. This is your life, if you’re not enjoying it, what are you doing?

Follow your bliss and always remember that doing good feels good too!


7 Responses to “go on, live a little – I dare you…”
  1. Love this so much! 😀

  2. Katherine says:

    So inspired right now. Thank you.

  3. Deanna Whyte says:

    Hallelujah, sister. 🙂

  4. Awesome article, loved it! I’ve bookmarked your site – do you use twitter? I agree, giving back and travelling responsibly is the best feeling, not only are you doing good, you get to feel good about what you’re doing, and believe me, you’ll always get more back than you put in (whether it be your best experiences, lasting happiness, or even just personal growth). We’re about to undertake a trip through Africa, something I’ve longed to do since childhood and we’re hoping to inspire others to live more sustainably through doing it in the most eco-friendly way. Here’s to living a lot!

  5. It is nice to be able to do as you want, but ultimately responsibilities turn up to join the party at the end!

  6. And then your focuses change and you start living someone else’s life, to!

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